Hello! Welcome to September! Where did summer go?

Wednesday mornings staff gather and pray for each other, the congregation, the church, world events, or whatever God lays on our hearts. August 22nd, we prayed for many of these things. We also reminisced about the summer at VPC in anticipation of Pastor Chris’s return from his sabbatical. We are so excited to have our Senior Pastor, spiritual leader, office mate, friend back! 

While talking, I could not believe all the really great things that happened from May thru August! The Festival of Worship, under Jamal Sarikoki’s leadership exposed us to a wide variety of preaching styles blessing us deeply. We’ve experienced the sacrament of Communion in different and meaningful ways this summer through the variety of pastors who have blessed us with their traditions. The music has been meaningful and well thought out. Testimony has told us the Holy Spirit is present and moving in the congregation of VPC!

Cedarkirk Day Camp hosted Vacation Bible School for 40 kids on our campus for a week in June! What a great time of love, laughter, learning about Jesus, and excitement the week was. If you were on campus the week of June 11 – 15th you were able to witness seeds being planted for a lifetime into children!  VPC lived out our mission of being a disciple-making outpost of kingdom life. The kids had fun learning about the love of Christ in a safe fun way while, again the Holy Spirit moved through not only the kids but the leaders. 

Who can forget our Church Picnic to celebrate our country on July 1st! We had about 300 people stay after our worship service to share a meal, enjoy each other’s company and wait for the exciting results of the first ever Pie Eating Contest! Cindy Gossman won the overall prize for the Best Pie! As one of the judges, it was truly delectable! Speaking for all of the judges, we had a fantastic time! Kelly Wensley, Jamal Sarikoki, Pastor Joshua Rasdall, and myself put our all into judging this contest! 

We celebrated some significant milestones with our next Associate Pastor, Carolyn Wilson! Our Congregational Meeting was July 15th where she was voted to BE our next Associate Pastor, if the way be clear. August 9th at the called Presbytery meeting hosted by Venice Presbyterian Church, the way was cleared! We celebrated, once again with Carolyn her final examination by the Presbytery, which she passed with flying colors! September 2nd we will Ordain and Install Carolyn! She is a fantastic addition to the VPC staff. 

Another memorable day at VPC this summer was Day 4 Hope. We hosted 150 underprivileged families as they prepared for school. Over 300 volunteers helped to make this happen. There were doctors, dentists, hair stylists, an ice cream truck, and so much love! My favorite display was from Detwilers foods! They brought bags of healthy food for each family to take home. It was beautiful and smelled so good! The best part about the day were the smiles, shared comradery and best of all, the way the Holy Spirit was moving on the campus of VPC and in the hearts of those receiving and in those giving of their time. 

We also moved from My VPC to REALM as our Church Management Software. This is a recent move that we are still working on. Two hundred twenty of you are signed in and using REALM. You will continue to hear about this one! It is the way to connect with the church, know what is going on, check on your giving or to give online. Keep your ears open for more on this! 

It has indeed been a busy summer! We’ve renovated the office building by installing new floors and painting, installed a new sound system in the Sanctuary, grounded the sanctuary for lightening protection; we’ve worked hard, played a little, prayed a lot, and are looking forward to what God has in store for the next season for VPC! There is a good spirit here! My prayer continues for you to get connected to Christ and to the church, to Grow in your relationship with Christ, and to Go spread your love for Christ! 

Chris O'Brien

Executive Director

Kelly Brady Wensley